There are certain rules that society should follow. Certain common courtesy’s allowed to groups of people.
When you see a person in a wheelchair or crutches, you open the door for them. When an elderly couple wants to sit at the last table in the restaurant, you let them.
And when a Mother, saddled with three small children is feverishly trying to handle a two year old throwing a colossal tantrum in the check out lane, obviously doing everything she can to make her be quiet, you SHUT YOUR TRAP!
We had a good morning. I got up at 6am to finish some giveaways I have planned for my readers and enjoyed a cup of coffee in a quiet house. The girls got up, one by one, gave me kisses and hugs. We then packed up and headed to the 2 year and 5 year well baby exams for Megan and Katie.
All three girls were angels at the Doctor and the visit was over in no time. Since everyone was doing so well, I decided to take them to the store and redeem some coupons for some back to school clothes.
Everything was going like clockwork. The girls were well behaved in the store and I got what I went for. A rarity but a lot of fun! I got to talking to another mother with three daughters in the flip flop department and let the girls try on all of the shoes and sunglasses that were displayed next to them. I bought some shoes and cleaned up the mess we made and headed to the register.
Unfortunately, I forgot to avoid the one area in any store that I have learned is Megan’s favorite… the jewelry.
No, I am not kidding. My 2 year old is a necklace and bracelet addict. She wears them all day every day and tries to wear them to bed. So for me to pass the jewelry section and not let her go hog wild is right up there with not letting her wear her new ice cream dress that Oma gave her.
As soon as I get past the jewelry display without stopping, Megan goes into a full on, knock down, kicking and screaming meltdown, right as we are getting ready to check out.
She is flailing and kicking and wiggling so much that I almost drop her while trying to put my things on the counter and get my purse.
I decide that the best option I have at this point is to get out of the store as fast as possible. So I strap Megan into the stroller, screaming at the top of her lungs, head and face red in full meltdown mode. Sarah is pulling all of the items out of the hanging displays by the register and Katie is trying to convince me that she “just has to have” the glitter lip gloss with Arial on the tube.
We get down to the last 3 items and the cashier can not find the tags. They were towels that I picked up on a display that was being organized. Apparently, they had not been tagged yet.
Knowing I now have to wait, I go to rescue Megan from the stroller and choose to take my chances on hanging onto her in an attempt to stop the screaming. As I am leaning down to get her, I hear an employee of the store, at a register caddy corner to the one I am at, scream to my salesgirl, “Are you almost DONE with HER?”
What? Is she talking about me? Sweating, almost in tears because I can not get my child to be quiet, doing everything I can to get out of that store the fastest, me?
I jerk my head up and lock eyes with the woman.
And she says, “You need to take her out of the stroller and then she’ll be quiet!”
A) Are you really talking to me like this right now?
B) What do you think I was trying to do?
C) YOU [BEEEEEEP]
The woman checking me out clearly has sympathy and says not to worry about it, kids throw tantrums all the time, and she is so sorry the items were not marked for her to scan.
Meanwhile, Megan is elevating her wiggling and kicking and screaming to Mach 5 level.
I hear – and see – the woman who yelled at my cashier telling her customer in line that, “Some people just need to know when to leave their kids at home.” and “She needs to learn to control those kids better.”
By this time, I am so angry I start to shake. I know my face is red, I have lost all interest in handeling Megan and just want to go deck the woman between the eyes, laying her flat on the ground, and then, as SHE is crying and whimpering, tell her that “Some people should know when to stay home and how to handle their mouth!”
But honestly, I am so stunned, I do not even know what to do. And I am still contending with a screaming 2 year old, a pulling everything out of displays 3 year old and a demanding 5 year old.
I FINALLY get completely checked out, grab my bags, fight back embarrassing, humiliating, angry – oh so angry tears – and head to the exit.
The woman who can not keep her mouth shut adds salt to the wound by yelling at me as I walk out, “Do you need any help with that? You seem to have your hands full.”
I had one bag. In the stroller.
I snapped back, holding back curse words, and my fist – to be honest, “NO thank you. I am perfectly capable of handling my kids.”
I cried all the way home. Angry. Ashamed. Frustrated. Completely horrified.
And it still makes me want to cry.
Despite my phone call to the manager, who patiently listened, audibly gasping when I told him what his employee said, apologized profusely so many times I can not even count, and then hung up the phone clearly on the warpath to berate his employee, I am still very upset about this.
So upset that a letter is being drafted to the head office as we speak.
Because despite my daughters obviously loud and obnoxious temper tantrum and the sweat dripping from my forehead while trying to handle her, no employee of ANY retail outlet should have any comments what so ever about how a customer is handling her out of control child. Especially a retail store that caters to mothers and children.
Because, at least I think, that it is a common societal rule that you do not, ever, and especially in public, you Do Not ANGER The Mother!
**Originally Published 8/11/2011**